Macs is still going strong

2009-03-10 00:00

MIDLANDS Arts and Crafts (Macs) has not closed down, despite rumours to the contrary circulating around the city.

The centre, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in May, moved from its old home in Alexandra Road, Pietermaritzburg, at the end of last year, to a new one at 23 Haldane Road and, despite a few teething problems (Telkom still hasn’t sorted out the phone, for instance) its members are settling in.

On February 28, the group hosted an open day to showcase what members are up to and the kinds of classes Macs offers. On the walls were drawings by students attending Thursday classes with Sue Physick, beautiful drawings of an Indian ashram visited by Rose van Staden in December last year, mandala’s drawn by Jutta Faulds, figure drawings by Penny Forder, a blanket knitted by Faulds and a jersey created by Clare Smith, alongside felted items made by Rukaiya Essa.

Outside on the verandah of Macs Art House, visitors were able to watch members spinning yarn or listen to John Roff play his handmade flutes.

Talking to me over a cup of tea, Macs secretary Wendy Bloy said: “We want to give people the chance to get away from the daily grind for a while … and, because of the economic crisis, we are trying to make our classes affordable.”

She added that people who are interested in arts and crafts not offered by Macs could approach them about starting new classes. “If people want us to do something and there is nothing in Pietermaritzburg, then we’ll make a plan to offer it.”

A bonus for any new members is that Macs has its own stock shop crammed full of wool (some of it spun by members), felt, beads and lots more, so they don’t have to hunt for materials. The committee is also keen to encourage its members to sell some of the items they make at the centre.

This month Macs is hosting the following classes:

• Drawing skills with Forder on Mondays (except March 30). To book, phone Forder at 072 143 3008 or 033 342 9494.

• Wednesday meetings for member artists where they can get together to help and encourage each other.

• Faulds mentors fibre artists on Thursdays. For more information, phone 033 343 3990.

• Making Marks with Physick on March 12 and March 26. To book, phone 033 330 4101.

There are also Saturday classes offering knitting for beginners and high school art students wanting to do an activity for their craft portfolio. For more information, phone 033 386 8538.

Looking ahead to April and May, Macs will be hosting a paper-making workshop with Physick from April 6 to April 8 and mandala making with Faulds on April 1, April 8, April 15 and April 22. On May 5, May 12, May 19 and May 26, Essa will help you make friends with your sewing machine.

Macs Art House is open from 8 am to 3 pm. For more information about classes and membership, phone the temporary cell number 079 611 6286 between 8.30 am and 3 pm.

Macs: Felting Course

MACS is hosting a felting course with Clare Smith on Tuesdays for three weeks from 9 am to 12 pm. There will be a basic introduction to felting on March 17, felting with a resist on March 24, and felting with lattice and nuno techniques on March 31. The course costs R300 for members and R350 for non-members, which includes a starter kit. There will also be natural and dyed fleece on sale. To book, phone 079 611 6286 or visit 23 Haldane Road in Pelham.

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